HC Deb 05 August 1867 vol 189 cc849-50

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether his attention has been called to the statement which appeared in the public newspapers, that telegrams had been sent to their Governments by Foreign Consuls in Candia, that— The Turks are massacring women and children; the Turkish authorities are neither able to subdue the insurrection nor to put a stop to these massacres; humanity demands the immediate suspension of hostilities or the transference of the Christians from Greece; and, whether he has received any such communication from Candia; if he has, what is its date, when did it reach his hands, and whether he has any objection to place it upon the table or to state its contents to the House?


replied, that his attention had been called to the telegram to which the hon. Gentleman referred. All the information they had received at the Foreign Office, except what he would refer to directly, was a despatch from the British Consul, dated the 21st of July, in which it was stated that no doubt massacres had been committed by the Turkish soldiers, especially by the Irregulars. The Consul did not, however, speak from personal knowledge, but only from what he had heard from other sources. On the other hand the Turkish Government entirely denied that any acts of cruelty on a large scale had been committed, and they declared that whenever such acts had been discovered they were severely punished by the military authorities. If he had any personal opinion on the subject, he should say he believed the Turkish authorities were really desirous to prevent such outrages, but they had comparatively little control over their irregular troops. Just before leaving the Office to come down to the House some fresh despatches arrived, which he had not had time to examine except in a very cursory way; but, so far as he could see, it appeared by them that there was very considerable suffering and distress among the inhabitants. With regard to the presentation of Papers, it would be better that they should all be laid on the table together, rather than extracts from a few. But as at present negotiations were still going on on the subject, their production would be premature.